Today It Locks Up Immigrants. But CoreCivic’s Roots Lie in the Brutal Past of America’s Prisons.

In 2015, I spent four months working undercover as a guard at a medium-security Louisiana prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) with the aim of reporting on the conditions inside a private prison for Mother Jones. Shortly after I began, I was shown a short promotional video in which two of the company’s founders tell the origin story of their business. In it, T. Don Hutto and Thomas Beasley recount how in 1983 they won “the first contract ever to design, build, finance, and operate a secure correc­tional facility in the world.” Hutto looks frail, with a shiny white head and oversize glasses, but he speaks with enthusiasm, recalling the story of his company’s first immigration detention contract like he’s giving a blow-by-blow account of a winning high school touchdown. The Immigration and Naturalization Service, the predecessor of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), gave Hutto and Beasley just 90 days to get the job done. From that deal, CCA would grow into a $1.8 billioncompany that helped build the immigration detention system that President Donald Trump now plans to expand.

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US inmates stage nationwide prison labor strike over 'modern slavery'

The first part of the prisons likely to be hit will be the kitchens, where stoves will remain unlit, ready-meals unheated and thousands of breakfasts uncooked.

From there the impact will fan out. The laundry will be left unwashed, prison corridors un-mopped, and the lawns on the external grounds ring-fenced with barbed wire will go uncut.

On Tuesday, America’s vast army of incarcerated men and women – at 2.3mof them they form by far the largest imprisoned population in the world – will brace itself for what has the potential to be the largest prison strike in US history.

Nineteen days of peaceful protest are planned across the nation, organised largely by prisoners themselves.


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Breaking: Federal Court Overrules Trump and Calls For Full Environmental Review of Keystone XL in Nebraska

Breaking: Federal Court Overrules Trump and Calls For Full Environmental Review of Keystone XL in Nebraska

 

Lower Brule, SD — Today, a federal court ruled the State Department must conduct an environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline route in Nebraska. Last November, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a “Mainline Alternative” route for the pipeline through the state. Tribes and landowners have since challenged the PSC decision. The federal court ruling is a strong affirmation of their claims and an impediment to the TransCanada corporation pipeline.

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Water Protectors Take Action to Keep Pipeline Out of Black and Indigenous Communities

Chants of “St. James needs an evacuation route!” came from the dozen-plus activists gathered at Louisiana Radio Network on July 18. The activists were part of the L’Eau Est La Vie (“Water Is Life”) camp, in Rayne, Louisiana. They want to stop the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana from St. Charles to St. James, through the Atchafalaya Basin.

They were at the Radio Network because they want to get the attention of Lousiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was holding his monthly radio call-in show there. They believe that the struggle against the pipeline is inherently connected to the struggles against extractive capitalism and White nationalism, and the movements for Native rights and Black lives.

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A very different justice: Red Fawn Fallis and the Hammonds

By Winona LaDuke

Early July marked two very different approaches to justice. One towards Native people and another towards non-natives Steve and Dwight Hammond, who were convicted in 2012 of setting fires that spread on government-managed land near their ranch in Oregon.
On July 8, Water Protector Red Fawn Fallis was sentenced for her involvement as a Water Protector at Standing Rock. Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Red Fawn Fallis to a total of 57 months in federal prison. She received a credit of 18 months ‘time served’ based on her time in North Dakota jails.

Red Fawn’s case has been a major concern to Water Protectors. Despite over 800 arrests, the commitment to non violence was consistent. The case against Red Fawn had centered around allegations she fired a gun during her arrest on October 27, 2016, during a massive military raid. The gun allegedly fired by Fallis was later revealed to have belonged to Heath Harmon, an undercover FBI informant who was romantically involved with Red Fawn at the time of her arrest.

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Justice Mocked in Pennsylvania

Ellen Gerhart sat in leg irons and cuffs, a guard standing behind her, as Houston-based pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners made its case against her on Friday in a Pennsylvania courtroom. Seconds after Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas Judge George Zanic found the 63-year old retired teacher guilty, he began the sentencing phase of the proceeding, reading from a prepared statement on his computer. Zanic sentenced Gerhart to two to six months in the Centre County Correctional Facility about an hour away from her home.

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Judge Slams Pipeline Corporation for Frivolous Legal Claims Against Activists

August 3, 2018, North Dakota – Today, a federal judge blocked Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the corporation behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, from continuing a lawsuit against Earth First!. ETP had filed a sprawling lawsuit, claiming the environmental movement Earth First! had funded a violent terrorist presence and criminal enterprise at the Standing Rock protests, with $500,000 and proceeds from drug sales on the site, and had conspired with Greenpeace and other environmental groups to deceive the public about the environmental risks of pipelines. Today, the court rejected ETP’s allegations as factually unsupported. The judge also blocked ETP’s attempt to collect discovery against the Earth First! Journal, a non-party in the suit.

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Wallowa Lake ceremony honors return of land to Nez Perce

In a moving ceremony filled with song, word and action under the shadow of Chief Joseph Mountain, The United Methodist Church took a small step toward righting an historic wrong on Wednesday.

As 115 people gathered from the Nez Perce Tribe, United Methodist Church, camp supporters, and community, The Oregon-Idaho Conference returned a 1.5 acre parcel of land in Oregon to the Nez Perce nation.

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Two federal defendants from DAPL protests reach plea deals

JACK DURA Bismarck Tribune​​​​​​​

Two federal defendants indicted in connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have accepted plea agreements.

Both deals with federal prosecutors are similar: Dion Ortiz and James White will each plead guilty to civil disorder, while prosecutors will move to dismiss charges of use of fire to commit a federal felony — similar to related defendants' plea deals.

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Two federal defendants from DAPL protests reach plea deals in barricade fire case

By Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune 

BISMARCK—Two federal defendants indicted in connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have accepted plea agreements.

Both deals with federal prosecutors are similar: Dion Ortiz and James White will each plead guilty to civil disorder, while prosecutors will move to dismiss charges of use of fire to commit a federal felony — similar to related defendants' plea deals.

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#NoDAPL water protector sentenced to 57 months

By Mahtowin Munro posted on July 27, 2018

Red Fawn Fallis being arrested.

#NoDAPL water protector Red Fawn Fallis was sentenced July 11 to 57 months in prison by a federal judge in North Dakota. She was given 18 months’ credit for time served prior to trial, and will have three years of probation supervision after her release. She and her family await news of where she will serve time, possibly in Arizona.

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Appeals Court Sides With Environmentalists In Pipeline Case

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

An appeals court on Friday sided with environmentalists who challenged the decision by federal agencies to allow construction of a 300-mile natural gas pipeline on a swath of national forest.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond cancels permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cut through the Jefferson National Forest.


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Red Fawn and State-Sponsored Sexual Assault of Native Women at Standing Rock

BY

Jacqueline Keeler TiyospayeNow

On Wednesday July 11, Red Fawn Fallis, 39, Lakota and the most high profile water protector charged with a felony at Standing Rock was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison with 18 months for time served. Her legal team will not appeal.

Fallis was found guilty of one count of civil disorder and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon. In the video of her arrest on October 27, 2016, Fallis, a medic at the camp, can be seen arriving on an ATV where a line of police in riot gear are faced off with water protectors. The wall of men parts and a deputy tackles her saying he heard her shouting “water is life.”

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Native American pipeline protesters enter plea agreements to avoid long prison terms

By Mark Hand

Anti-Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrators gather outside of the Morton County, North Dakota Courthouse, where their fellow protesters are facing criminal charges. CREDIT: Erin Lefevre/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

State and federal prosecutions of Native Americans and their allies who protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are drawing closer to an end, as two more protesters agreed to plea deals.


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Glenn Morris Reflects on Red Fawn's Sentencing, Standing Rock

Chris WalkerJuly 20, 2018

Since the demonstrations at Standing Rock, we’ve followed the case of Red Fawn Fallis, a member of Denver’s indigenous community who was arrested on October 27, 2016, and accused of firing a gun at police officers. In a now infamous video, Fallis is seen tackled to the ground and surrounded by dozens of police officers during a protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. As she’s being arrested, at least three gunshots ring out, though the video does not clearly show who fired the shots. 

Federal prosecutors claimed Fallis was at fault, and that she intended to harm the officers. At one point, she faced the possibility of life in prison. The case sparked outrage in Denver’s indigenous community, which rallied around one of its own.Fallis's situation not only spawned benefit concerts and support rallies in Denver, but took on a life of its own and spawned a national #FreeRedFawn Movement. 

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Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops

by Linda Ford / July 17th, 2018

What happened to Standing Rock water protector Red Fawn Fallis is what has happened to many women political dissenters who go up against Big Government/Corporate power.  After she was viciously tackled by several police officers (caught on video), she was brought up on serious charges of harming those who harmed her.  Fallis, after months of intense corporate/military surveillance and handy informant reports, was targeted as a coordinator and a leader, a symbol and an inspiration.  For daring to make a stand for her people against the encroaching poison and destruction brought by the Dakota Access gas pipeline, she became a political prisoner.

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THE U.S. AND CANADA ARE PREPARING FOR A NEW STANDING ROCK OVER THE TRANS MOUNTAIN TAR SANDS PIPELINE

In British Columbia’s southern interior, on unceded land of the Secwepemc Nation, Kanahus Manuel stands alongside a 7-by-12-foot “tiny house” mounted on a trailer. Her uncle screws a two-by-four into a floor panel while her brother-in-law paints a mural on the exterior walls depicting a moose, birds, forests, and rivers — images of the terrain through which the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will pass, if it can get through the Tiny House Warriors’ roving blockade. The project would place a new pipeline alongside the existing Trans Mountain line, tripling the system’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen flowing daily from Alberta through British Columbia to an endpoint outside Vancouver.

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